Sibling! Gotcha- you’re just going to have to keep reading to find out the answer to that little surprise!
Well before Andrew and I learned that we were pregnant, we were talking about names. Some of those names had been in our repertoire since even before John was born, while others were added in the months and years that followed. It’s odd to think that nearly three years ago, we were already debating names for our firstborn child, but seeing as our third anniversary is just two months away, I can’t say I’m that surprised. I’ve been thinking about baby names pretty much since I stopped being a baby myself.
With John, the naming was quite easy- when we went for our twenty week ultrasound, we had a top-choice boy name, but no such girl name. In fact, I was rethinking all of the girl names that we had previously considered. In the end, it didn’t really matter. We walked out of my doctor’s office less than an hour later, and we knew that we were having a little boy- a little boy named John.
We began discussing names for any other potential children fairly soon after we knew that our firstborn would be a boy. By the time we learned that we were pregnant again, we were committed to our girl name, but not so convinced about the boy one. But we knew that we had plenty of time to decide. A lot had changed since my first pregnancy, and I was much more open to the idea of having a boy this time around. During those first few months that I was pregnant with John, I hoped constantly that it would be a girl. I didn’t think I could be a good mother to a little boy (you can read more about that struggle here.), so you can only imagine my shock and anxiety when I learned that we were having a boy.
It took a long time to get over those initial feelings, and to be honest, I didn’t fully get over them until John was already a few months old- when I realized that I was actually a pretty good mother to a little boy. I had assumed that I would be completely incompetent, that I would not be able to bond with him, that John would reject me. In time, I realized that none of those fears were true. I was a good mother, and John and I have the strongest bond now- we adore one another, and he has given me every reason to believe that I could raise another little boy, if that was God’s will.
This new perspective changed the way I approached the common question- “Do you hope it’s a boy or a girl?” The first time around, I answered that question with a fake smile and an unconvincing, “I’ll be happy either way.” The truth was that I wasn’t so sure about that- I couldn’t imagine being happy with a boy. There was too much fear, too much anxiety. But I figured that I would have sounded like a bad mother had I been honest. This time around, I was honest. I did want a girl, but I would have been happy either way. I still had dreams of loving- and clothing- an adorable little girl, a mini-me that I could take to dance classes or skating lessons, that I could dress in matching outfits, with whom I could share my love of dresses, foxes, and cute hairstyles. But the thought of John with a little brother brought a smile to my face as well.
John changed my world when he was born. I fell in love with my little boy, and as the months passed, he showed me that I was fully capable of being a mother to a little boy. Not only was I capable- I was good at it. And as we waited for the ultrasound that would finally reveal our second child’s sex, I drew comfort and confidence from the fact that I knew that I could be good at it again. I loved my children, and I knew that their sex couldn’t change that fact. I knew that I would be a good mother, and that I would love my child, no matter what.
Our trip to the doctor was very different this time around. For one, it wasn’t just Andrew and me. John was sitting in the backseat, eating just about anything he could get his hands on and listening to the millionth song from the movie Moana. The trip was stressful, but for an entirely different reason. Last time, I was stressed because I was petrified that the ultrasound would reveal that we were having a boy. This time I was stressed because we still have fifteen minutes to drive, John had made it through all the popular Moana songs, and I was nearly out of dried cranberries.
An hour later, I was lying in the dark as our ultrasound tech took measurements of our baby. John was alternating between flirting with the technician, admiring the doorstop, and trying to open the hazardous waste garbage can as Andrew followed him around. After half an hour of working, we had everything we needed except the baby’s gender. Baby Whitmore was being exceptionally modest, with little crossed legs. This was the totally opposite experience from John’s twenty week ultrasound, when the lab tech turned on the screen and immediately announced that we were having a boy. There was no concern for modesty with that one!
After a bit of jiggling, the ultrasound technician finally got the image she needed. She seemed relieved, as well as incredibly confident, in her assessment. She typed in the letter ‘B’ on the screen and paused, and I was convinced we were having a boy. But then she pushed the screen so that all three of us had a good view, and she continued typing until the screen read, “Baby girl!!!” And at that moment we knew- we have a daughter!
So it looks like there are dresses, lots of pink, and adorable bows in my future! And maybe ballet classes or skating lessons in the somewhat more distant future as well. Now I only have four months to build up the most adorable pink wardrobe ever. Here’s to hoping that I get a 30% off coupon for Kohls between now and August!
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!